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Santa Monica transient found guilty in cold case killings of two women

Edric Dashell Gross
Edric Dashell Gross
(Santa Monica police)

A 50-year-old man was found guilty Wednesday of the murders of two women in Santa Monica more than a decade ago, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney. 

Edric Dashell Gross, whom police said is a transient known to frequent Santa Monica, was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder with the special circumstance of multiple murders. 

According to prosecutors and Santa Monica police investigators, Jacqueline Lea Osvak, 42, a transient, was sexually assaulted and strangled in April 2001. Her body was discovered by construction workers in an abandoned home in 1500 block of 7th Street that was slated for demolition.  

More than a year later, in October 2002, people walking through Palisades Park found the body of Dana Victoria Caper, 41, along the bluffs below. Police said Caper was also a transient and lived along the bluffs. Investigators said that like Osvak, Caper had been sexually assaulted and strangled.

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Both cases went cold and were turned over to the Santa Monica Police Department’s cold case unit. Through DNA processing and new leads, investigators identified Gross in September 2007 as the suspect in both slayings. He was arrested in August 2012.

Gross was tried for the murders last year, but that ended in a mistrial after the jury was unable to reach a verdict. Prosecutors tried the case a second time this year. 

Sentencing for Gross is scheduled for June 24. He faces life in prison without the possibility of parole, according to prosecutors.  

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 ruben.vives@latimes.com

For more Southern California news, follow @latvives


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